Parental Care from an Insect’s Perspective

Parental Care from an Insect’s Perspective

By: Pat Kelley, BCE – Insects Limited

Parents are some of the most influential and important figures in our lives. Let’s face it, without them we wouldn’t even be here! When making a list about the qualities of a good parent, we will probably add the attributes that they:
1. Provide a safe place to live
2. Provide food to eat
3. Give us the best chance that they can for us to
make it on our own in the world.


What we probably wouldn’t consider is that this list is also true for insect parents and their young. Insects don’t initially come across to us as the best caregivers, but nature provides plenty of examples that prove this to be wrong. In the food category, nearly
every female insect deposits her eggs on or near a food supply for her offspring. For example, clothes moths lay their eggs on cashmere wool, cigarette beetles lay
their eggs on tobacco or spices, and so on. This ensures those newly hatched eggs immediately have sustenance to grow.

Protection of Eggs
The defenseless egg stage in an insect’s life is the most susceptible to predators who can eat them. To protect against this, a few species go to the extent of having the females hold their eggs inside their body cavities until they begin to hatch. This type of live birth (called viviparity) protects the unborn eggs until they have a chance to physically run and hide from predators. An example of an insect that does this is the Madagascar
Hissing Cockroach, Gromphadorhina portentosa (see the photo and video attachment below).


A Madagascar hissing cockroach female holds her egg case within her body until the nymphs begin to hatch, ultimately giving live birth. Patrick Kelley – Insects Limited 2017

Sometimes, even the insect fathers take a protective role with their offspring. The male Giant Water Bug, Abadus herberti holds the unborn eggs of his progeny on his back until they are old enough to hatch out.  Upon laying the eggs, the mother physically glues
the eggs onto his back. The father then continuously does water aerobics and makes frequent trips to the surface to supply oxygen to the eggs. He is also quite adept at avoiding creatures that would like to eat him or his eggs. This type of protective parenting give the young giant water bugs several legs up on the competition!


A male giant water bug has his offspring glued to his back to protect them. C. ALLAN MORGAN Peter Arnold, Inc. 1998 Scientific American

Good parenting doesn’t always stop after the eggs are hatched either. Some species will protect the young nymphs or larvae as well as the eggs. Take for example, the Brazilian Tortoise Beetle, Acromis sparsa. The adult female tortoise beetle guards her youngsters from the time that they are eggs into their adolescence. She will round them up like sheep and hover over the top of them and use her broad wing covers to protect
them. The young larvae aid in their own defense as well by grasping onto their own feces with hooks at the end of the abdomens and waving it at any potential predator. Together they form an intimidating (and foul tasting) shield against enemies.

Generation to Generation?
Although parental care never goes beyond one generation in insects and it is usually only used in extremely harsh or unfavorable environments by a handful of species, it is still an effective plan to protect the young. Be it mankind, mammals, reptiles or
even the lowliest insects, creatures on this earth are set on making sure that their species survives to the next generation. Insect parenting is no exception.

Please Note
The article “Child Care Among Insects, Why do some insect parents risk their lives for their young?” by Douglas W. Tallamy, photographs by Ken PrestonMafham, published in the January 1999 copy of Scientific American was the source of much of the material in
this article. Thank you to them for the wonderful information and most of the outstanding photographs seen here.


A female Brazilian tortoise beetle hovers over her larvae. The larvae
wave droplets of feces from the ends of their abdomen to create a
protective shield against predators – Copyright 1998 Scientific American photograph by Ken Preston-Mafham


NYC Rodent Control Academy

NYC Rodent Control Academy

By: Tom Mueller – Insects Limited

As declared by Rick Simeone, the Director of the Department of Pest Control for New York City, “It’s science. It just comes down to science.” I was fortunate enough to attend the NYC Rodent Academy hosted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in May. Let me tell you, that statement holds true. Dr. Bobby Corrigan did the majority of teaching throughout the academy. I have had the pleasure of listening to him speak many times, and every time I am amazed at his ability to captivate an audience with the science behind rodent pest control. It doesn’t matter if it is for an hour long presentation or a three day New York City academy; Dr. Corrigan has the talent and passion for talking about rats. He has a way of making his audience feel passionate about them as well.

On the academy’s first day we started with a single projected picture of a “gorgeous” rat. This picture led to an hour and a half discussion of rodent anatomy. What a fascinating start to what became a three day crash course including classroom learning as well as field training of rodent behavior and biology. I personally took sixteen pages of notes. Undoubtedly, the rodent program at each attendees’ company improved in more ways than one.

As for the classroom setting, academy attendees from four countries around the world and five states in the USA had the privilege of listening to speakers such as renowned Rodentologist Dr. Bobby Corrigan, and city officials such as the Director and Assistant
Commissioners for the NYC Pest and Animal Control sector of Health and Mental Hygiene. Dr. Robin Nagel, an Anthropologist from NYU captivated us on the history of New York City trash and how, since the 1850’s, humans have made it so conducive for rats to not only survive, but thrive in every square mile of Manhattan. Sylvia Kenmuir
from Target Specialty Products provided the group with information about Rodenticide labeling and federal regulations which seemed to enlighten the attendees no matter their experience. It is easy to see why the rat population is so prevalent in New York City. However, Caroline Bragdon from New York City’s Division of Environmental Health was able to give many ways New York City is attempting to reduce its rodent infestations by gaining a grasp on the extreme city wide trash and refuse problems.

Juvenile Rate on Hind Legs with caption

The organizers of the Rodent Academy, Bobby Corrigan, Carla Rossi, Karlette Sylvain, and Ryan Chan then gave us the opportunity to put our studies to use in the field. Split into teams and given a “Keen Observations Exercise,” we were tasked with traveling around to four predetermined locations to investigate the area for Active Rodent Signs (ARS). Our group discovered over sixty-eight signs of rodent activity among the locations. It is amazing how your eyes can be opened with the right education.

So why would a National Accounts Manager of a stored product insect pheromone manufacturing company want to attend a rodent academy? The answer: “It’s
science. It just comes down to science.”

Insects Limited and Fumigation Service and Supply are two companies that have based their entire existence on science based decisions. Find out your target pest’s biological requirements, remove those environmental factors, and the pests will either leave or they will die. It is amazing how many tactics from the rodent world can
transfer to stored product insects.

Tom Mueller is the National Accounts Manager for Insects Limited, Inc.

The Entomologist

The Entomologist

By: David Mueller, BCE – Insects Limited – Purdue Class of 1975

J.J. Davis was a pioneer in Entomology and Pest Control at Purdue.

I just want to share with you a short piece from his 1958 “The personal experiences of an

The sundial’s method
suits me fine, It only
marks the hours that
shine, What a delightful
thing tw’od be,
To have a sundial memory.

When his parents learned ‘June’ was going to the University of Illinois to study bugs, they wondered how he could make a living at it. Isn’t that what most people think today? Very few realize Entomology is one of the most profitable and interesting vocations in the field of Agriculture and basic sciences. I wonder if our high school graduates realize the marvelous opportunities in Entomology – as research workers, as teachers, as
extension specialists, in sales work, in consulting work, in museums, and in commercial pest control, to mention a few. May I add that it is one of the most interesting
vocations because it is never monotonous. Every day brings a new problem and a new challenge.

Rachel Carson was a great writer and a brave woman. I didn’t know Rachel Carson personally but her words affected me in my business and the way I look at nature today.
She was an accomplished scientist. She wasn’t from Purdue or an entomologist, but she is known throughout the world for what she wrote about nature.

Steve Yaninek and Dave Mueller - the entomologist with caption

After becoming a proficient oceanographer for the US Department of Interior at Woods Hole Institute, she found a second career as a writer of books about nature and the environment. She wrote five books, all became best sellers. Her book “The Sea Around Us” in 1951 was on the New York best sellers list for a record 86 weeks!

For a time, she had both the #1 and the #3 best seller “Edge of the Sea”. Rachel Carson was famous for her poetic way of describing nature and the way nature interacts. If you
haven’t read her book, “The Sea Around Us”, you should. Her new found fame and financial success allowed her to quit her government job and start writing full time.

One day Rachel Carson, living in Maine, woke up in the spring and didn’t hear the robins that were normally present this time of year. She researched the problem and found that pesticides were impacting nature. She then decided to write a book called Silent Spring about how pesticides impact the environment. She stated that, “Man believes it is the conquer of nature.” How did Rachel Carson affect our generation of alumni? Simply
put, she was a spark that ignited the environmental movement. She was a flashpoint much like Upton Sinclair’s book “The Jungle”. Her credibility from her previous writings made people lesson to the story of “Silent Spring”. Companies that focused on pest
management started offering alternatives to pesticide applications. The trend helped me start our business, Insects Limited, in 1981.

I was first an environmental science student at Purdue. I took an entomology class and found out that I enjoyed studying the niche of biology. The combination of Entomology and Environmental Science offered me a chance to work in both areas. I recorded Dr. John Osmun in 1993 saying that he believed that a statue of Rachel Carson should be placed in front of every entomology building in the country. Not only for what she said, but what she did to increase funding of pesticide research and environmental

Dr. John V. Osmun was truly a Boilermaker.

Besides being a department head of Entomology, he was the federal architect of pesticide licensing and continued education…. “Let’s educate rather than regulate.”
The smile on the statue reminds me of the smile that Dr. Osmun wore most of the time. (Susan you did a perfect job of representing his smile. I love your statue). I see
Dr. Osmun as the young entomologist. Dr. Osmun was a friend of the student. We were invited to the Osmun home often and especially during the Purdue Pest Control conference each year. It was something we looked forward to. Pesticide Licensing: In 1974 my Entomology 515 class was the first group to take the pesticide licensing course.
Dr. Osmun’s blueprint at the new EPA affects many, many people here in the US and throughout the world. One day I walked up those steps and Dr. Osmun stopped me and asked me if I was Board Certified in Entomology. I said no and he shook his finger at me and said: “Son, if you want to be professional, let’s get professional.”

In conclusion, during my senior year, Dr. Osmun took my resumes to a national meeting. Soon after he returned I received two phone calls for interviews. I received two
job offers and 43 years later entomology continues to be my career. He did this for many students. I could speak for hours about my Purdue Entomology professor, mentor, and friend. But the story I want to tell you is about John Osmun the Boilermaker. John
religiously attended Purdue football, men and women’s basketball games. He was truly a Purdue Fan. If he was here today, at this point he would raise his arm and say, Go Boilers!!

This presentation was given by Dave Mueller on April 8, 2017 at the dedication ceremonies of the statue “The Entomologist”. If you are near the campus of Purdue
University, go to Pfendler Hall at 715 W State St. and look for the “Black Swallowtail Butterfly.”

Watch a video of David Mueller at the dedication here:


Mark your calendars for June 12-14, 2018

‘25 Years of Sharing Through Education’ Lubeck 1993, Bologna 1995, Chicago 1917, York, 1999, Copenhagen 2003, Thessaloniki 2005, Monterrey 2007, Bremen 2009, Indianapolis 2012, Krakow 2014, Adelaide 2015, Indianapolis 2018

F and P conference logo

“Pest Management Around the World”

Indianapolis, Indiana

The theme of the 13th Fumigants & Pheromones Conference is “Twenty-five Years of Sharing Through Education”. This conference will feature new and practical applications of pest management with two hands-on workshops with field demonstrations. Each speaker has been carefully selected to offer an international perspective on how
we protect our food, grain, structures, wood, and fiber from invasive pests. Throughout the past 25 years, this biennial conference has followed the guiding principal of “Sharing Through Education.” This 2018 version will be no different. Since our first international conference in Lubeck Germany in 1993 and many training conferences since 1978 (our very first training program here in Indianapolis) we have worked hard to improve our
skills to help improve stored product protection. Stored product protection is a unique niche. We use products which are less toxic and have less impact on the environment as well as methods which are more proactive and less reactive than out of control
pest issues. Twenty-five years ago, the thought of pheromones and non-pesticide applications was in its infancy. Today, the rush to develop and utilize proactive approaches is a sign that our industry has listened to the technology and our customers and offered them choice of options. Options that include insect growth regulators, genetic selection, fumigant scrubbers, mating disruption, pre-emptive application of low impact pesticides, scanners and cell phone applications of recording and communicating. Yet new invasions of pesticide resistance, and new pest insects and bacteria are appearing and commanding our attention with new research, new jobs, and continued training.

Programs for the conference will be mailed in the coming months. Registrations and details will be found in these programs and on Insects Limited’s website:


Bugs in the House… Come on in and stay awhile

Bugs in the House… Come on in and stay awhile

By: Pat Kelley, BCE – Insects Limited

Ziggy by Tom Wilson

Insects are known to be some of the best organisms in the world at finding and exploiting niche environments. We find insects living in nearly every setting on the surface of the earth. There are insects that live in ice, snow, deserts, jungles, swamps,
forests, prairies, mountains, valleys and everything in between. Knowing their affinity to find suitable homes anywhere and everywhere, it is not unusual that our own homes can
become sanctuaries for many insect species. Let’s take a tour of a typical house and see who we might be inviting in.

Pat Article - bugs in home

Pat Article - bugs in home 2

Outdoor Landscaping
As we walk up towards our house from the outside, the lush trees, flowers and other plants that decorate the outside of the home are a food source to a wide variety of insects that feed on leaves, wood and pollen. The tree mulch around the base of the house provides food, moisture and shelter for termites, ants and fungus moth insects as well as non-insect critters such as springtails, millipedes, centipedes and sow bugs. Our pet dog or cat that is sitting on the front porch is a host to fleas and ticks. When day turns to night and we leave the light on located next to the front door, we will be attracting hundreds of species of night flying insects and the spiders that feed on them.

Pat Article - bugs in home 3

Family Room
As a family sits around together each evening enjoying a show on the television, odorous house ants and other ant species are busy beneath the sofa picking up our food scraps that we have dropped after we were munching on popcorn or other snacks. In the bay
window in this room, a colony of carpenter ants is taking advantage of an old leak that has caused “wood rot” in the window frame. These large black ants have begun to excavate a nest there.

“Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite” isn’t just a cute phase in our bedroom in this house. Bedbugs that live behind the headboard and along the sides of the mattress as well as mosquitoes that fly in our open windows at night are after us for a blood donation during the quiet of the night.

The wool sweaters, fur coats, feather-filled comforters and felt lined jackets that we store in our bedroom and/or front hall closets are a windfall in edible food for clothes moths and carpet beetles alike.

Below is an informative video about clothes moths in closets:

When it comes time to use the bathroom, we won’t be alone. A silverfish is unsuccessfully trying to run up the side of the empty bathtub after it accidentally fell
in. It has lived its entire life in the moist wall void adjacent to the tub. Small moth flies (aka: drain flies) are popping out from the rarely used drain in the sink.

Basements in our neighborhood tend to be a little damp. This is the perfect environment for smoky brown cockroaches. A floor drain in the basement leads directly into the city sewer and a multitude of American cockroaches waiting for a way to come inside. Cellar spiders and wolf spiders have made a good living here along with the centipedes who eat the plethora of insects that have made their way into the basement.

Just because the attic is high above the ground doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot of activity there. A broken screen on an attic vent has allowed an English sparrow
to make a nest inside. Carpet beetles are doing quite well living on the dropped feathers in the nest. Cluster flies and Asian Lady beetles have accumulated in the attic space at numbers in the thousands as they look for a place to spend the winter. The same vent that allowed the bird to enter has proven to be a perfect entry point for umbrella wasps to make a nest containing nearly one hundred wasps.

Pat Article - bugs in home 4

There is always a warm meal for a stranger in this house. House flies that came in through the front door really like sucking the juices from the baloney in our baloney sandwich. Indian meal moths have taken a liking to the almonds in our pantry and fruit flies tend to always find the one banana that is turning black before its time. The ants living in the outdoor mulch just outside the kitchen, have made a trail through a
crack in the foundation right to the tile floor around the trash can. These uninvited guests give a new definition to an “eat-in” kitchen.

We are Not Alone
As busy as our house seems, we are no different than the house next door or any of the houses in the neighborhood across town. Insects and other critters have survived throughout time by adapting themselves to find ecosystems that give them what they need. People are happy to supply them with these ecosystems in our homes as we attempt to make our own lives comfortable. So, the next time that you open
the breadbox and a moth flies out, say “Good morning! I hope that you had a good night’s sleep!”

Fun Fact
Insects are everywhere in the world on land, but no insect spends its entire life in the ocean. The reason for this is that insects are believed to have evolved from crustaceans living in the oceans about 480 million years ago. Once the insects left the salty ocean waters, they never returned. This is quite possibly due to the fact that their crustacean cousins provide too much competition to survive in the ocean waters, or it may be something else entirely. What we do know is that on land, the insects rule!

Red and Confused Flour Beetles: A Food Industry Pest

Red and Confused Flour Beetles: A Food Industry Pest

By: Tom Mueller and Peggy Rutkowski – Insects Limited

One group of troublesome pests in the food industry and homeowner’s pantry are the Red and Confused flour beetles. These important stored product insects look
similar. Under a microscope they are different in appearance, and in your production facility they are different in biology and behavior.

Take fumigations for example. The Red flour beetle is much harder to kill and can take three times the dosage rate needed for a Confused flour beetle.

These small beetles are reddish brown and about 3.5 mm long, but do not rely on color alone to help distinguish between the two species. There are many reason why
color should not be a factor, but if you put them under a strong magnifying glass you
will see the last four segments of the Confused flour beetles’ antennae are gradually enlarged towards the tip.

confused flour bettle

The Red flour beetles has antennae that are abruptly enlarged to form a club with the last three segments. Flour beetles can cause customer complaints in stored products. These beetles are pests of flour, but also feed on processed beans, nuts, spices, chocolate, and pharmaceuticals. Both adults and larvae cause damage. Female red flour beetles will deposit 200-500 eggs in food during a 1-2 year life span. Eggs hatch in 5-12 days, and the larvae can mature within 30 days or as long as 120 days depending on temperature. The Red flour beetle has the ability to fly in temperatures above 90 degrees.

Red Flour Beetle

Video Showing the Different Life Stages of the Red Flour Beetle

Practical Pheromone Techniques: Flour beetles produce an aggregation pheromone to communicate with each other. Pheromone manufacturers have the ability to synthesize this pheromone to mimic its production within food storage and production facilities. This allows members of the pest management industry to utilize pheromone lures and traps to monitor flour beetle infestations. Traps can be placed year-round but should
be greater in numbers during the warmer months. Place traps near materials susceptible to attack at one per every 10-15 feet and check them weekly. Depending on manufacturers recommendations, pheromone lures should be replaced every 60 – 90 days.

all beetle traps

For more information:

A Guide to Clothes Moths

A Guide to Clothes Moths

By: James Feston, Insects Limited

Webbing clothes moth
Webbing clothes moths were likely introduced into the United States before the 1860’s. They often travel with clothing, rugs or other belongings containing wool or other natural animal products. The larval stage alone is responsible for damage to materials. The adult moths lack functional, chewing mouthparts. Damage is most often concentrated in dark areas including crevices or creases in their preferred food. Examples of these dark areas could be; under furniture and cushions, where carpets and
textiles are folded and in garments under collars, cuffs and folds. Adult clothes moths are secretive and are often found in these darkened places. They will attempt to hide
when disturbed and will often run, hop or fly short distances to escape. They are weak fliers compared to other moth species. The males are much more active fliers
than the females. Males actively seek out female moths in order to mate. Males and females can penetrate narrow cracks as they find their way in storage cabinets and boxes. Once mated, females look for suitable food sources to lay their eggs. The extremely small larvae can find their way into many storage containers that appear to be pest-proof making detection difficult.

clothes moth - james article

The larva is whitish colored with a brown to black head. Clothes moths are small, straw-colored, yellow-tan, or buffcolored insects, with narrow wings fringed with hairs. A tuft of hairs on the head is upright and coppery to reddish-gold in color. Adult length is 7-10 mm with a wingspan of about 10 mm. A webbing clothes moth infestation is often
detected from damaged fabrics and by the presence of silken webs spun by the larvae, sometimes producing only scattered patches of silk. The webbing clothes moth larva
spins silk as a tunnel or sheet of webbing across the attacked material under which it grazes. Damage is accompanied by webbing tubes or sheets which frequently
include large amounts of frass, and infestations appear far more ‘messy’ than the damage caused by case-making clothes moth (Tinea pellionella).

clothes moth comparison

Food & Feeding
Generally, developmental time for the clothes moth from egg to adult in room temperature is approximately 45 days. Mating and egg laying begins almost immediately after adults emerge from the pupa. The adult life span of the
moth is 1 month. Adult moths do not feed.

Signs of Infestation
Clothes moth larvae feed on woolens, mohair, feathers, fur, hair, leather, dead insects and dried animal carcasses. Infestations occur in clothing, carpets, rugs, furs, fabrics,
blankets, stored wool products, upholstery, mounted animals, piano felts, fish meal, milk powder, and brush bristles. The larva may feed on fabrics of vegetable origin
or synthetics, if the fabrics are mixed with wool, or may use such materials to construct their cocoons. Synthetics, cottons, and other plant materials are not attacked by the
webbing clothes moth larvae unless these items are stained with food or body oils. Although synthetics may be ingested, they cannot be digested.

Life Cycle
Female moths can lay up to 57 small, pinhead-sized, white eggs on or near the fabric, clothing, or furnishing they infest.

Casemaking Clothes Moth
Casemaking clothes moth are worldwide in distribution. The common name of casemaking clothes moth comes from the fact that the larvae will carry a silken case with it throughout the entire larval stage until pupation. The case consists of silken material produced by the larva intertwined with fibers from the material it is feeding on.
As the larva grows, it will enlarge the case by making a slit on both sides of the case and inserting triangular sections of new material. In this same fashion, it will increase the length of the case by adding new material to either end. The case is essential to pupation and if the case is removed from the larva when it is near pupation it will die. The larva will drag the case with it as it feeds. It will thrust out its head and thoracic legs and pull the case along with it. Immediately prior to pupation, the larva will often seek a protected site such as a crevice, wall or often the ceiling of the room of the infestation.

Larvae are pale yellow when hatched and, as they age, turns more white with a brownish head. Larva will always drag a silken case around with it. Adults have three dark spots on each front wing. Wings are brown/tan/gray and are long and narrow. Hind wings are fringed with long hairs. 10-14 mm wingspan.

Food and Feeding
Potential foods include any feather material, woolens, rugs, felts, hair and furs (This includes animal mounts and fur garments). It is reported that it will also feed on spices,
tobacco, hemp and skins. The case-making clothes moth will rarely spin a web on the material on which it is feeding. The larva of Tinea pellionella will feed in a
random pattern over its food source, pulling its case behind it.

Signs of Infestation
The amount of damage done to the material is based directly on how much time it spends in any one location. Fecal pellets from the feeding larvae will drop beneath the
material or fall into folds and increases in the textiles, rugs and furs. The cases for the pupating moths will often be attached to the wall or ceiling around the infested material.
Sometimes the pupal cases will be attached to the material itself, attached only by a silk thread produced by the larva. Where webbing clothes moths (Tineola bisselliella) will
often integrate their pupal cases into the fabric or fur that it feeds upon, the case for the case-making clothes moth is distinctly separate from the feeding substrate.

Life Cycle
The gravid female moth will lay 37-48 eggs randomly over potential food sources. The eggs will hatch in 4-7 days. The larval stage builds a case of silk which it enlarges as it grows. The larval stage will last from 68-87 days. Prior to pupation, the larva will often migrate to a protected area to pupate. The whole pupation period will last 9-19 days. The adult moths will only live 4-6 days. The males will be active fliers searching out the females, which generally remain stationary. A typical population will have 3–4 generations per year.

Current best Practices in Clothes Moth Management
The key to eliminating clothes moth infestations is to interrupt the clothes moth life cycle. The damaging larval stage cannot be caught in moth traps but can be eliminated
via other means. The following list represents the current best practices of a moth removal program.

Clothes moth larvae and eggs can be quickly killed with high heat. Placing garments on hangers in a closed car on a hot, sunny day will eradicate the immature stages.
Hanging garments in black plastic bags and hanging in direct sunlight on a hot day can achieve the same results. Smaller items like woolen socks, mittens, scarves, hats
and sweaters can be placed in a tumble dryer (without washing) and exposed to the heat on a high setting for 30 minutes. Larger items like rugs can be placed over the porch
banisters and exposed to the direct sun for a couple of hours then turned over so that all sides get exposed. Beating these rugs will also help dislodge eggs and larvae
from the base of the fibers.

Clothes moth larvae and eggs can also be killed with a long exposure to freezing temperatures. Items to be frozen should be wrapped in plastic, frozen in a chest freezer at – 18°C for three days. Garments can be cleaned following freezing.

Cold Storage
A good solution for Spring to Fall storage of furs is to use a cold storage service at a professional furrier or fur store.

Dry Cleaning
Expensive woolen jackets, uniforms, dresses, slacks and garments with ‘dry clean only’ labels should be taken to the dry cleaner.

Steam Cleaning
Upholstered furniture and carpets can be cleaned using a steam cleaner. Hot steam will kill eggs and larvae on contact.

Professional Cleaning
Large rugs should be taken out and cleaned by a professional service. They can put these rugs into large pools with cleaners, have them washed, dried and repaired if damaged.

Damaged or dirty furs should be cleaned by a furrier or fur store with this service. They have the proper cleaning agents and drying equipment to remove perspiration and
other spills on the hair and fabric.

Some garments or rugs may show signs of damage (webbing or granular debris). This may be simply removed with a fine brush. This is an important step after freezing or heating garments to remove debris. If the garment is damaged in the future, new damage will be evident compared to old damage.

Regular vacuuming of the carpets and rugs including under furniture can help remove eggs and larvae over time. This keeps the population from accumulating and reduces
the chances of damage. A crack and crevice tool to clean out the gaps around the edges of the rooms is extremely effective.

After completing the large amount of cleaning, freezing and heating it would be wise to place all the clothing in ‘garment bags’ then have one side clear and the other side
breathable fabric. These will protect and prevent further attacks from moths that may have been missed or reintroduced into the home. Other small items may be placed in sealed bags or tight containers. Make sure they are sealable on all sides and do not have ‘vents’. You should also be sure that there are no active larvae in these garments or clothing before sealing them.

Trapping and Monitoring
Pheromone traps are an excellent tool to capture moths. Before and after cleaning the home and personal belongings, these traps can help monitor and evaluate the
effectiveness of any cleaning efforts. Continue to monitor sensitive areas to monitor for resurgence or reintroduction.

It is difficult to monitor every location at all times, so visual inspection is critical to see if there is activity under various spaces present in homes such as cabinets, inside a
piano, cold air return duct, or other odd locations. If you see a moth, you should start looking around immediately to track down the source.